When Anquan Boldin got on a plane to Senegal, he was a member of the Super Bowl champion Ravens. When he landed, he was a member - pending a physical - of the Super Bowl runner-up 49ers.
"There was a bunch of text messages coming through, saying, you know, 'Congratulations on getting traded to San Francisco,'" Boldin said in an interview with an ESPN producer accompanying him in Africa. "Things like that, so I found out I guess through text messages."
The receiver is traveling with the anti-poverty group, Oxfam America.
Asked about playing for the 49ers, Boldin admitted to an initial "shock."
"You know, for me it was an initial shock because I had no clue that I was going to be traded," he said. "So for me, it was shocking at first, but I mean it, for me it is also a good thing. You know, when I look at the organization and what they're about, and as a football team, the talent that they have, I think it's a good, good place for me to be.
Boldin ended up with the 49ers after the Ravens decided they couldn't pay him the $6 million he was scheduled to earn in 2013. the team wanted him to take a $2 million cut, Boldin stood his ground and the Ravens likely would have released him. Still, there were no harsh words from Boldin.
Instead, he wrote a nice farewell to Baltimore on his Twitter account: "I would like (to) thank the Ravens fans for their incredible support for myself and my family throughout my years in Baltimore. I am grateful in getting to know you and will miss what I call home. I thought this was the last stop of my career but regardless of the circumstances I came here to win a Championship. And in February we came home Champions."
The 49ers currently have two, sixth-round picks in the upcoming draft - their own (31st overall in that round) and the Dolphins' (12th overall in that round). I'm told the pick going to Baltimore is the 31st pick in that round.
There's been a lot of chatter about another Raven, safety Ed Reed, ending up with the 49ers. The team's current safety, Dashon Goldson, will hit the free-agent market as the top safety, and there are at least four teams interested. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the 49ers still are in the running but that the Lions and Eagles appear to be the favorites with the Buccaneers also in the mix. Goldson is believed to be seeking a deal worth $8 million a year.
Meanwhile, Reed is very familiar to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who spent five years in Baltimore before joining Jim Harbaugh on the west coast. Reed recently hired Athletes First's David Dunn to represent him. (He had been without an agent). Dunn is very familiar with the 49ers. He represents Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman, and he either represents or used to represent general manager Trent Baalke.
Reed also had an interception in the Super Bowl on a high pass from Colin Kaepernick to Randy Moss. There has been considerable debate on whether Moss, a free agent who is unlikely to return to the 49ers, could have made a play on the ball.
The 49ers, who met with defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins (he signed with the Giants) last week, also are one of several teams who have inquired about Raiders defensive lineman Desmond Bryant, according to reports. No visits can be scheduled until the new league year kicks off at 1 p.m.
-- Matt Barrows